Content Marketing Strategy: 11 Key Steps to Nail It

If you have ever struggled with the creation of a Content Marketing Strategy, you’re in the right place. And, I’m here to help you. That is because I’ve developed this powerful step-by-step guide that will make content marketing a lot easier.

As Google is continuously evolving the ways the users communicate with the search engines, it has become insanely important for the marketers to deliver relevant pieces of content. However, some marketers still think only keyword research can help them sail through the competition.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to help you at all and you will sink despite making so much of efforts and time investment. Some of you might offend this completely by ducking behind increased statistics of their website traffic using keyword-driven strategy.

Agreed! You have a good traffic base. Then, what?

Are your business conversion rates equally rising? Will keywords-based approach alone help you reach your revenue goals? It is true that keywords has a significant role to play, but only if you have a well-structured content marketing strategy. In the next few minutes, I am going to share some amazing benefits of having a strategy to market your content. By the end of this post, you will know exactly how you can take your business to new heights with a content plan.

What is Content Marketing Strategy?

Defining the content marketing strategy reminds me of insightful words perfectly quoted on Copy Blogger by DemianFarnworth

Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that content marketing strategy is basically all about planning your business reach to the relevant prospects through insightful articles, blogs, case studies, explainer videos, and a wide variety of content-types. Provided that the content you produce should be a resolution to the problems your customers are facing.

To this, many people still respond with a question — what is the need of a strategy for content marketing? It’s a valid question though. Hope the answer below makes a convincing argument about the significance a content marketing strategy holds for any business.

So, Why Do We Even Need A Content Marketing Strategy?

Whether you are a small-business owner or a marketing manager to a renowned brand, a content marketing strategy makes an inevitable part for your online business success plan. A well-structured strategy helps you streamline the online customer engagement, building better and lasting relationships with your existing as well as new customers.

In addition to improved engagement, building strategy to market your content also makes it easy to measure success as it involves several metrics to evaluate the content’s performance at regular intervals.

Here are some important reasons to have a content marketing strategy for every business:

1. It helps to boost your marketing team’s efficiency.

2. It helps you develop purposeful content to compel more traffic.

3. It helps you become an authority resource to your target audience.

4. It helps you gain better rankings with focused content pieces.

5. It helps you remain consistent that boosts your brand presence and loyal customer base.

6. It helps you to set realistic goals that you can track and improve.

Aren’t these reasons enough to have a content marketing strategy? Would you still prefer to be directionless in terms of content? It is high time to take the charge for your business objectives with a focused content marketing strategy.

Having discussed the significance of strategizing content distribution, let us proceed to the question that might be bothering you next — How to create a successful strategy for content marketing ensuring improved efficiency and traffic?

How to Create a Result-Driven Content Marketing Strategy?

That’s a question that many people are trying to find an answer to, but only a few succeed. Let us face the fact that “One strategy cannot fit every business’s requirements”.

Because every business has its key differentiators including content marketing goals, target audience, USP, buyer’s persona, buyer’s journey, and many others. Based on which, you have to draft your content marketing strategy. However, no strategy comes with guaranteed success. It just gets improved over the time tests and trials.

This implies you might face some failures till you finally create a content marketing strategy that works for your business (obviously, with mild changes and upgrades at regular intervals). The one thing that you will surely get is the list of Don’ts in your strategy to make it a successful one.

Though there is no sure-shot success formula for strategy creation, there are certain steps that you must consider before jotting down your content marketing strategy 2018. Let’s have a quick look through those steps:

1) Determine Your Business Goals

First and foremost, it is important that you to determine the goals you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy — be it simply increasing traffic/followers, subscriptions, logins, or registrations. This will help you identify the right type of content you should produce.

For example, if you are going to organize a seminar for engineering students and you want maximum registrations, then you need to come up with a content copy that can give students a broader idea of benefits they can look forward to like meeting industry leaders, future/career scope, Q/A session with experts, and much more. The very idea of career insights will interest the students to register for the seminar, as it is often one of the biggest concerns for them.

Having clarity on business goals helps you to make efforts in the right direction!

2) Craft A Well-Analyzed Buyer’s Persona

You probably would not have guessed the importance of having a well-analyzed buyers’ persona. Even, marketing professionals underestimate the value of a clearly defined buyers’ persona, giving their competitors a clear advantage to win.

Why is Buyer’s Persona Important?

A buyer’s persona is a detailed analysis of your target audience, their interests, preferences, and most importantly, their pain points. It includes — who is your target audience? What are they looking for? Where they are looking? and much more.

Clearly, persona revolves around your customer; so your business. Isn’t it?

Would you still question the significance of creating buyer’s persona in content marketing strategy steps?

3) Identify Your Brand’s Unique Selling Proposition

This step needs you to go more precise to analyze the quality factors that differentiate you from others in the marketplace. It strictly does not imply only the product, it can be the process you follow, testing mechanism, quality standards, etc.

Once you will recognize your unique selling proposition, you will know exactly what topics you should pick up to help your target audience, at the same time, evolving as an authoritative resource of information they are looking for. Therefore, it is quintessential to get a good understanding of brand’s USP to lead with a difference.

4) Watch Out Your Competitor’s Activities

Keeping an eye on your competitors’ content marketing activities is imperative to push your company’s potential to another level. A continuous watch on competitors helps you to learn what to avoid, what to follow, how to identify right questions and their most relevant answers, new opportunities of marketing and branding, alternative keywords and phrases, and above that, all the new content ideas — may be a new Q/A forum, blogging website, tutorials, guides, etc.

While you are making all the best efforts and hard work to keep your company ahead of competitors, there is no harm in keeping a track of content marketing activities that are performing well for others. Some of them might get you exceptional results as well.

5) Populate A List of Potential Content Topics (Keeping All AboveSteps In Consideration)

Coming up with potential content topics is itself a task. You can get through it easily if you have followed all former steps sincerely. Brainstorming content topics will help you realize fresh topics especially the ones that your potential audience is really looking for. You can seek help from the sales department, or other relevant departments to get some different ideas.

However, be sure to make them understand the basic idea so that their suggestions have some relevancy. Or, it would be just wasting time and efforts, all in the wrong direction. If you are not getting some good ideas, it is better to write every idea that comes to your mind. You can further combine them, re-work on them, or improvise them. It is always good to take one step at a time than not taking any towards your goal.

6) Research the Most Relevant Keywords

As it is everything about your potential customers, you need to search some key terms and phrases according to content topics that will make your content relevant and valuable for not only the audience but also for SERPs. You can also use tools for determining most relevant keywords.

Some of the most commonly used tools are — Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool, SEMrush, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, KWFinder, Ubersuggest. All you have to do is enter one keyword, such tools will offer you a complete list of keywords including long-tail, trending, and the negative keywords so that you can strategize your content marketing activities accordingly.

7) Make a Focused Approach with Editorial Calendar

Considering your keyword research, you will then have to create an editorial calendar to distribute your content. Always remember to include the target keywords in the calendar to let the people, who are going to create the content, know what is important even if you are not there.

Some of the sources where you can get free templates for editorial calendar are: Coschedule.com, Hubspot.com, and Contentmarketinginstitute.com. You can also create your own editorial calendar after having a clear idea from the available templates to cater your business objectives. Having an editorial calendar will help you remain focused throughout. Remember

“You don’t get results by focusing on results. You get results by focusing on the actions that produce results.”

By Mike Hawkins

8) Identify and List the Success Measuring Metrics

You got the list of content topics, target keywords, and made an editorial calendar, what’s next?

Next is identifying and listing certain metrics that will help you determining the success of your content marketing strategy. For example if you are in the education industry, the success metrics could be:

· Number of registration forms filled online

· Number of courses enquiries received, and

· Number of admissions closed.

Similarly, every business can align its objectives with the success metrics including user engagement rate, number of visitors, referrals from existing connections, conversions, and so on. This will help you realize the improvements required with different activities, keywords, or topic ideas listing in your content marketing strategy. You may also need to make changes with your editorial calendar.

Don’t you agree on having success metrics marked for reviewing the performance of content marketing strategy you prepared?

9) Develop the Content

Finally, it is time for the key element of your content marketing strategy i.e. content. You need to come up with the most relevant, informative, and valuable pieces of content that can actually help your target audience to get answers for the problems they are facing. If you have done your homework on above mentioned steps, you will definitely end up developing your content up to the mark.

In addition to the keyword density, pay attention to the framing of title, writing in the conversational tone, and wrapping up your article well in its summary that can compel your audience to go through entire article and get all their answers.

10) Don’t Afraid of Trying New Platforms

Is your insightful content all set to get there? That’s great! What all platforms are you planning to circulate it through apart from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter? Are you also afraid of trying new platforms? Don’t be.

If you are not presenting your business or brand on different platforms, you are just limiting your brand’s potential to explore new heights. Don’t ever let this restriction cause you a delay in acquiring success. Give a try to different platforms available out there — be it forums, Q/As, Online Group Discussions, etc.

Make a note — every new platform offers new opportunities to explore that will ultimately help you unleash your brand’s potential like never before.

11)Mobile-Accessibility is a New Priority

One of the most commonly ignored aspects by the content marketers is– the accessibility of content on mobile devices. This could make your brand lose a lot because major proportions of modern generations prefer browsing on mobile devices.

It is an undeniable fact that everyone today, including you and me, are addicted to our phones as they help us access almost any information on the go. Make sure you check the accessibility of your content, including the images and statistics graphs, on mobile devices if you really want to engage with the larger audience.

It is often reported that improper alignment, and delay in loading time push customers off from your website, giving them a valid reason to switch to your competitors. Even you would not like that. Nobody does! So, do check your content accessibility on a mobile device to make it readable and sharable for mobile audience too.

Hope you will get some really good takeaways from this post, or might include a step or two that you haven’t included yet to make your content marketing strategy more actionable than before.

P.S: Please share your valuable feedback about the same, or any other improvement that you think would have made this post better and more valuable!!

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Web and SEO Content Writer, Blogger, and Coffee & Music Lover!!

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Priyanka Arora

Priyanka Arora

Web and SEO Content Writer, Blogger, and Coffee & Music Lover!!

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